How I’ve learned to “Fuel Better”.

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I was lucky to grow up in a household of health. My family cooked together, shared meals together, and taught the importance of eating well. The fundamental elements of nutrition and balanced living were present in my life and things I didn’t really think twice about.

Once I moved on to college and out on my own, it was time to navigate the nutritional waters without home cooked meals or mom doing the grocery shopping. While I knew a lot about healthy eating I didnt know much about sports specific nutrition. I never used power bars or supplements. My parents didn’t believe power bars were good for you, “you are better off eating real food” they insisted. By looking at the ingredients in most of the early sports nutrition products, I’m pretty certain they were right. So I didn’t follow the power bar, balance bar, gel sport trend and just tried to eat well naturally on my own. This was not a bad approach and worked for me at the time. I just didnt realize how much more I could get from my training with the right nutrition.

Photo credit Vega

Photo credit Vega

It wasnt until I moved to San Francisco that I started playing around with sports nutrition. I had just graduated college and was a young working professional hustling my butt off to “make it”. My life moved fast in the city and I needed food that could keep up with me. So I started sampling different sporty food trends. Luna bars, coconut water, whey protein, even sport beans. While some of them were helpful and healthy, others were a let down (and a waste of money). There are millions of sports nutrition supplements on the market constantly and it can be really difficult to determine which ones are suitable for your own unique needs. Nothing really ever seemed to stick or feel worth the extra expense of my hard earned cash. That was until I met Vega products. That moment changed the course of my fast paced fueling life.

My first encounter with Vega was one day at my local Whole Foods Market, where they were sampling Vega Sport Performance Protein. I found it surprisingly tasty and then I read the package. Real food performance protein that provides results?? I had to learn more and was positive the product claims were too good to be true.

I was awe struck. Vega products ARE real, plant based, and on a mission to support a healthier world with all-natural products. Born from the belief that one should not have to compromise between whole food goodness and fast food convenience, Vega products are developed with Alkaline-forming, plant-based whole foods which help build a platform for optimal health. All of their products are dairy, gluten and soy free, and contain no artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners. The nutrient-dense, high net-gain, alkaline-forming nutrition found in plant-based whole foods and natural health products like those offered by Vega is truly the best building material available for your body.

I began incorporating their vega sport performance protein into my post-workout smoothies as a replacement for the whey protein powders I’d been supplementing with previously. Even though I bought the whey products from my trusted Whole Foods Market, they were still filled with artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and other suspicious ingredients. Not surprisingly, my body digested the Vega Sport Performance Protein much more easily. I began dabbling in other Vega products, and almost immediately noticed a positive change in my energy levels, performance, and the amount of time it took me to recover between workouts. I was surprised by how quickly I felt a difference incorporating Vega into my active lifestyle. The results were clean and clear: I perform better with all-natural, plant based fuel. 

Today I’m a fan of the entire Vega Sport line, and I love that all the products are in sync with my whole food-based, clean eating nutritional philosophy. I love that I can tell my mom that I AM eating real food when investing in Vega products and getting the most value from my eating as a result. While the vanilla Performance Protein reigns supreme as my favorite, I also adore the Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator. It’s packed with ingredients to help reduce post-workout inflammation and I look forward to it at the end of a long workout. 

To me, fueling better means being open to learn, grow, and challenge yourself. It means learning to listen to your body and honor what it needs and how it feels. When there are so many choices, trends, and opinions it can be hard to define what is right for you. Its a process of trial and error. Of testing, re-testing, and listening. When it comes to performing my best both in and out of workouts, here are a few things I’ve learned that help me fuel better:  

  1. Start the day with a large glass of water.
  2. Coffee can help get you going, but too much will make you crash and burn. One cup does the trick. After that, Im better off getting natural energy from movement, fresh air, and sunlight.
  3. A daily dose of apple cider vinegar will boost your energy and balance your stomach. Click here for my daily detox drink. 
  4. Breakfast is essential. Taking the time for a solid sit down breakfast will help you have the power to fuel your entire day, avoid cravings, and limit late night eating. Here are a few of my favorite fast and easy breakfast ideas to fuel your busy life. 
  5. EAT REAL FOOD. Not too much. Mostly plants. (thanks Michael Pollan).
  6. Figure out your daily intake goals (protein, carbohydrate, fat, calories). Aim to get it daily. I use Livestrong.com “My Plate” to record an online food diary when I want to make sure Im getting the nutrients I need to succeed. Its completely free, has a large database, and is excellent.  Ill keep a record for a few days on a regular basis to check in with myself and keep my healthy diet on track.
  7. Sustain your energy and stay hydrated with Vega electrolyte hydrator. This zero calorie electrolyte blend will keep your metabolism and energy up while giving you the all-day hydration you need to keep going fast.
  8. Recover faster and get stronger with Vega Sport Performance protein. With 25 grams of complete, akaline-forming protein,  you’ll improve strength and exercise performance and reduce recovery time between intense workouts (or long work days!). Take 45-90 minutes after a hard workout, bring with you to use for extra power for a long work day, or use while traveling to keep your nutrition on track.
  9. Eat every 2-3 hours helps keep blood glucose stable and to stay energized for whatever the day throws at you. Some of my favorite snacks include Vega Sport all natural protein bars and making a smoothie with Vega Sport protein. You can read my full list of all-natural healthy snacks to fuel energy and health here. 
  10. Allow yourself the treats you love in moderation. Life is for living not deprivation. (I call it the 80/20 rule of healthy living! )

What does fueling better mean to you? Watch my “Fuel Your Better” story and leave your top sports nutrition secret as a comment below.

The sports nutrition industry has come a long way since I was living with mom and dad. Im so grateful to have found Vega whole food plant based nutrition products and thankful for the strength they’ve added to my life. Over the years Ive learned nutrition absolutely has to be a priority if you want to look, feel, and perform your best longterm. When you are working, working out, and living a busy life you absolutely need the right nutritional support.  It can be hard to eat naturally without the right resources. Vega makes it easy to get the REAL FOOD fuel you need to live your best life.

Want to figure out what you need to “fuel your better”? Check out:

Performance Nutrition Calculator (what Vega Sport Products are right for you) >> http://vegasport.com/performance-nutrition-plan/

Fuel Your Better (What challenges are holding you back from Better?) >> http://vegasport.com/fuelyourbetter/

“I want to grow. I want to be better. You Grow. We all grow. We’re made to grow. You either evolve or you disappear.” 
― Tupac Shakur

Heres to learning, growing, and fueling our full potential now and always,

Caroline

Want to learn more about Vega Sport and Vega products? Check them out on the web, like their page on facebook, or follow them on twitter!

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